It has been calculated by the Aberdeen Group that 43% of the procurement, finance, and supply chain industries are failing to complete information on their corporate supplier database.
With so many other assigned tasks to think about, supplier and facilities managers are simply running out of time to look after their systems – potentially leaving them exposed to risks beyond their control.
And it’s not just these risks that are making managers turn round and take notice. A correct and proper supplier information management system now overlaps into other business areas such as corporate social responsibility and security. With this in mind, here’s a collection of time-saving techniques for those supply chain managers who see better contractor management as one of their main goals for this year:
Put time aside
A simple tip, but an essential one.
You need to put the time aside to go through your database every month, and not just as a one-off project. Gauge the time you spend updating your supplier information and book it in your calendar on the same day of each month.
Repeating this every month will allow you to stay on top of your supplier information, as well as removing the need to do an epic audit of your data every year. This approach should also be cascaded into your support team as a priority too.
Find hassle-free suppliers
To ensure a productive working relationship, taking the time to find suppliers who offer quality service, meet your requirements and can be left to complete the project at an arm’s length, is worth investing in. Time spent now will save you time later sorting out supplier problems or taking unexpected phone calls on the easiest of projects.
Build good supplier relationships
Right from the start you should be meeting your contacts face-to-face and seeing how their business operates and what you can do together to streamline your requirements. Together, creating an SLA will ensure the findings of the initial meetings are carried through into the relationship and adhered to – saving money, management and time dealing with them.
An SLA also creates a reference point for you to judge how successful your relationship has been when reviewing annually. For those working with global suppliers, the way you go about building relationships and auditing them on an annual basis needs serious consideration.
Review your supplier performance
If done effectively, this can save you time and negate the potential issues you may face through poor supplier information management. Make time every year to review SLAs and ask yourself whether you’re getting the price, quality, innovation, delivery, and account outputs you were looking for.
This ‘basic’ review of the account should also be done alongside a full supplier audit to ensure a complete and considered report is drawn up giving you the foresight to say yes or no to continuing the relationship, based on performance.
Extra time-saving tips
The Altius blog is committed to helping supply chain and facilities managers improve the way they work with and manage their vendors by sharing educational content. To add more value to this community and blog, feel free to add comments to the bottom of this blog sharing your thoughts on the state of the industry and any time-saving tips you have for your peers.
We will feature the best time-saving tips in a dedicated blog later on in the year.
Photo credit: Victor